Monthly Archives: June 2022
Today IRMA executive director Aimee Boulanger, and senior policy advisor Kristi Disney Bruckner presented before the Department of State’s Clean Energy Resources Advisory Committee (CERAC). CERAC “advises the Department of State’s Bureau of Energy Resources on strategies, programs, and policies related to clean energy mineral supply chains.”
IRMA made nine recommendations to CERAC:
- Recognize the importance of equal governance in multi-stakeholder leadership, engagement, and public access to information.
- Adopt a holistic lens to mining sector management, including a wide range of environmental and social factors.
- Use the IRMA Standard for Responsible Mining to assess gaps in domestic legal frameworks, and incorporate best practices on international to local levels.
- Promote an inclusive, participatory, transparent rights-based approach to relationships between mines and communities, with access to remedy.
- Use IRMA standards and audit reports to guide more responsible sourcing of mined materials.
- Encourage mines to engage in IRMA, which connects market value with environmental and social responsibility, and encourages continuing improvement while striving toward best practice.
- Identify and act on opportunities for the U.S. to be a “first mover” on responsible sourcing of mined materials, due diligence, and circularity.
- Foster innovation, strategic planning, and meaningful engagement of workers, communities, NGOs, companies, and investors in the “green” transition
- Collaborate with other governments to enhance environmental and social performance and transparency of the mining sector and supply chains.
As of this June, 55 mining companies are now engaged in IRMA representing 72 sites:
- 61 sites are self-assessing, the first step before an independent audit;
- 2 independent audit reports have been released — Anglo American’s Unki mine in Zimbabwe, and Carrizal’s Zimapán mine in Mexico;
- 11 audits are under way — 9 initial audits (Argentina, Brazil, Chile, South Africa), and 2 surveillance audits (Mexico, Zimbabwe)
In April 2021, via our newsletter IRMA notified our followers of our position on deep sea mining. Because deep sea mining is increasingly a topic of conversation of late, we are republishing that statement here:
IRMA was not developed to assess the unique risks associated with deep-sea mining and cannot be used to describe best practice for this type of extraction. As such, and in light of the need for ongoing research, the current inability to audit impacts, and a risk that IRMA’s Standard could be inappropriately applied if used in the deep-sea context, IRMA does not allow its system (whether self-assessments or audits) to be used by companies involved in deep-sea mining exploration. We will continue to stay abreast of developments related to this topic, providing applicable expertise and our unique multi-stakeholder perspective, as appropriate.